ST. John the Baptist history

Our History

Many people attending mass in our beautiful fieldstone church on the shores of Lake Galpin also remember the original St. John's at 1st Street and Courtland in Excelsior. The legendary Archbishop John Ireland appointed Father Joseph Busch as the first pastor of our church in 1903. Father Busch ministered to a Parish of 20 registered families and approximately 200 summer visitors. When Father Busch left in 1910, Father James Reardon took charge for six months and on December 30th of that year Father Thomas Cushen became pastor and remained pastor until March of 1960 when he died while on a trip to England. Many remarkable changes took place at St. John's under Father Cushen. The most important was the building of the new church (our present worship building) and its completion in 1960. He also had our present school built and that took place in 1951.

After Father Cushen, came Father Oscar Winzerling, who remained pastor from 1960 until his departure in 1971. Father Winzerling during the entire period of his pastorate worked very hard to reduce the parish debt. In 1971 Father William Bullock came to St. John's as pastor. His predecessor Father Winzerling had reduced most of the parish debt and this enabled Father Bullock to broaden and enhance the activities of the parish and the spiritual lives of the parishioners. He left in 1980 when he was made Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop John Roach in St. Paul.

When Father Bullock left in 1980, Father Gerald Frier was appointed pastor and stayed until 1984 when Father Allen McIntyre was named pastor. During his ten years as pastor, until 1994, Father McIntyre established, with the assistance of the parish council, the first St. John the Baptist staff at St. John's and he also added the beautiful "Gathering Room" to our parish. Father James Wolnik succeeded Father McIntyre in 1994 and during his pastorate the lovely Adoration Chapel was added to the parish. In 1997 Father Mark Dosh was appointed pastor at St. John's in Excelsior and served as pastor for sixteen years.

Father Alex Carlson succeeded Father Dosh in 2013 and continues in this role at the present time.

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